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Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog

Short-Cycling: What It Means and How to Avoid It

If you’ve never heard the term “short-cycling” before, we don’t blame you. While it’s a well-known term that we use in the HVAC industry, it’s not exactly widespread in our everyday lexicon. So, if you’re just finding this blog post to get the lowdown on what short-cycling is, we’ll answer all your questions.

However, just figuring out what we mean by “short-cycling” is only half of the equation. The other half is figuring out whether or not you need air conditioning repair in Arlington, VA because of a short-cycling AC that’s starting to struggle.

Regardless of whether or not you’re just becoming more learned on HVAC terms, or you’re in serious need of some AC repair or replacement services, we’ve got your back. Keep reading as we get into the details about short-cycling and what this kind of problem means for you.

How Short-Cycling Occurs

A short-cycling air conditioner is not normal—and here’s why. An air conditioner is supposed to run a full cycle when it cools your home. It’s set up so that it’s designed to cool the exact volume in your home by consuming as little energy as possible. This involves all of the components in your system to an equal degree, while your air conditioner competently runs, cools your home off, and cycles off when it’s done.

Short-cycling is when your system runs in short, frequent cycles that stress out specific components of the system. This problem can usually stem from an integral issue like a refrigerant leak or an improper load calculation when the system was installed. As your system continues to short-cycle, you’ll start encountering frequent repair needs and eventually heightened energy bills that you shouldn’t’ have to pay for.

Replace or Repair Your System

There are three ways to deal with a short-cycling air conditioner. The first is to ignore it, which we highly advise against no matter what. Ignoring problems just because they don’t seem that bad right now is a surefire way to encounter higher costs down the road.

The second way to deal with this is by calling us for repairs. If your system is suffering from a refrigerant leak or some other issue that’s causing it to short-cycle, then we can help. Patching and recharging your system is a repair that can be performed quickly and effectively by the right trained professional.

The third way to deal with this kind of problem is to call us for scheduled system replacement services. If your air conditioner is short-cycling because it was improperly sized for your home, then there’s not really a way around it. We’re going to have to replace your system with one that’s accurately sized for your home. Think of it this way—a poorly sized system is only going to last for a couple of years before it peters out, while a properly installed system will last for a decade or more. It’s absolutely worth it.

Call Us

By no means is it okay to just “deal” with a short-cycling air conditioner. You’ll run into problems, headaches, and expensive repairs if you’re not careful. Call us today.

Contact the team at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. to address your short-cycling AC today.

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